BEVERLY — Residents of Beverly, Mount Greenwood and Morgan Park are no strangers to parades or the fundraisers that proceed them.
The latest pre-parade fundraiser will help pay for the annual Memorial Day Parade on Longwood Drive in Beverly. The charity event will be held from 3-7 p.m. Saturday at Cork & Kerry.
It costs $30 to attend the fundraiser at 10614 S. Western Ave. in Beverly, which includes food, open bar and live music from The Late Start Blues Band featuring Billy Gorman. The group plays a mix of country rock, blues and American hits.
“Last year’s Memorial Day Parade was a tremendous success, and the generosity of the people and businesses who supported our first fundraiser drove that success,” said Anthony McKenna, co-chairman of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade Committee.
The march up Longwood Drive from 110th Place to Ridge Park begins at 10:30 a.m. on the morning of Memorial Day, May 25.
It's the longest continuous running Memorial Day parade in Chicago and the parade begins after the Ridge Run ends. This race follows a similar route and includes a 10K, 5K and a one-mile run for children.
In years past, upward of 2,500 race participants went home to shower almost immediately after the Ridge Run, which led to a poor showing at the subsequent parade. But a deliberate effort was made in 2014 to maintain the crowds that had gathered for the race.
The Beverly Area Planning Association organizes the parade and hopes to build on the momentum from last year by adding more marchers, floats and bands in 2015. To do this, the association is aiming for a big crowd at the pre-parade fundraiser.
Such fundraisers have become a popular way to gather momentum for upcoming neighborhood parades. Indeed, Sunday's South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade was preceded by a fundraiser at 115 Bourbon Street in suburban Merrionette Park.
The organizing committee for the Memorial Day Parade is also hoping to generate an early buzz by naming its grand marshals. A group of World War II veterans will lead the charge up Longwood Drive this year.
The DeWalt Mechlin Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will follow the vets. The Beverly chapter been named the parade's special honoree in recognition of its 100th anniversary this year.
Other groups already committed to participating in the Memorial Day Parade include the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, the Morgan Park High School Junior ROTC, the Brother Rice High School Marching Band, Patriot Guard and Gold Star Families.
For more information on the fundraiser or participating in the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade or Ridge Run, call the Beverly Area Planning Association at 773-233-3100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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